The title pretty much says exactly how I feel. Most of humanity, I believe, have their horror stories of being sexually harassed, harassed, raped, or somehow victimized in other ways. And even if for their own healing or benefit, their stories need to be told and heard. In the process of doing this I think we all need to recognize something far more important, and that is, that everyone’s individual response to their horror story has changed the life of someone else; whether for the better or the worse. Now I am not sure exactly how I feel about today’s goings on with the destruction of people’s lives some decades later. It may just be a necessary evil, however, needed to wipe the slate clean and give us an opportunity for drastic change. For myself, I have always been a two wrongs do not make it right kind of person and think it is better to try to find the cause of the behavior and fix it instead of allowing victimization to continue for years and to many others and then destroy lives. At least that was my attempted response to my me too moments.
Now another me too moment that I am keenly aware of, is my mothers. Looking back at our upbringing and some of the things she brought into our lives, I can see the conflict in her, caused by her me too moments. There are probably many things she did wrong in our upbringing as she refused to admit and face her demons. But, there are definitely many things that she did right. We always had food on our table, beds to sleep in, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, etc.. She even provided these things, if only temporarily, to others who she recognized needed the help. Most of those others remain a part of our tight-knit family and are considered siblings to this day.
I want to shine the light on the outcomes of the things that she did right. Because we all have the choice to do right in the face of something horrific happening to us. I am unsure if my siblings would agree with me in the outcomes of what she did right. When I look at them, I see it shining so brightly in their successes. Now you might define success the way Oxford Dictionary defines it “The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status“; I do not. The fact that all of us are loving, compassionate, generous people is probably my mothers greatest success. Add to that, all of those things have now been passed on to further generations; grandchildren, great-grand children, etc.. We are all educated and have great work ethics, strength, resiliency, stubbornness, and I could go on. I consider us a success because we all learned to give back to humanity and what better definition for that word is there than that.
Maybe if we all thought of success in those terms, than we would not make the trade-off of our silence for careers, money, or any other means. Yes it is hard, demoralizing, shameful, and fearful to do the right thing sometimes. And maybe the right thing for each of our moments is to simply protect ourselves. Maybe it is to stop the cycle no matter the cost to ourselves. I wish I had the answer to what the right thing is. Maybe if I knew it and could spread it, we could minimize the amount of victims. Maybe the knowledge that it is all about power is the best place to start. Maybe if we add in the recognition that some are just evil and some are passing on what they were taught as victims of the me too, than we can begin to make changes.
I would like to hope that me too moments would be wiped from the face of humanity, but evil exists and so they shall continue. So if we know this to be true, that they will continue, how can we fix the damage once it is done? or can we? Many say it is too late then. I would like to think that anything and everything is fixable. So as we wipe the slate clean, for the sake of humanity, we should try to find ways to fill the slate with the necessary things that will better us all.